China's internet rollouts will further expand in third and fourth tier cities this year, and the country will become the world's largest mobile internet market, IDC projects.
The research firm has published a series of predictions of the trends that will shape China's internet industry in 2015.
IDC expects that as many as 400 million Chinese rural customers will sign on to internet services in 2015. Combined with growth in smaller cities, these users will make up the next wave of China's internet demographic dividend.
Smartphone shipments are meanwhile expected to reach 450 million units in 2015 as mobile broadband usage continues to grow.
Online-to-offline (O2O) transactions will drive growth in China's e-commerce industry during the year, IDC said. Personalized e-commerce services will spring up in a number of industries, including the food and drink, childcare and education sectors.
With growth in China's PC and mobile gaming markets starting to slow, Internet companies are expected to explore new revenue streams, licensing IP from other entertainment industries such as literature, film and television.
Finally, IDC expects QR code payment services to push non-mainstream users such as the elderly onto the internet during 2015.